The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Unit celebrates it’s 77th birthday this year. The brave men and women that make up this unit are unpaid volunteers. I think we can all agree that serving in any branch of the U.S. military is a brave and honorable venture, but today we want to wish the volunteers of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary team a big happy birthday and thank you for your bravery and service. You are truly unsung heroes!
The U.S. Coast Guard is a branch of the military and the USCG Auxiliary operates under the direction of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and their main mission is to handle search-and-rescue operations, train civilians on recreational boating safety, and control pollution. They also support the U.S. Coast Guard in its mission. In addition to being present in all 50 of the United States, they also have units in Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico.
The History of the USCG Auxiliary
On June 23, 1939, Congress created an organization called the Coast Guard Reserve and encouraged civilians to volunteer to be a part of protecting the country, our coasts, and the surrounding waters. Two years later, in 1941, the Coast Guard Reserve became an official branch of the U.S. military, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary became the civilian sector of the Coast Guard. Today, about 32,000 civilian men and women serve the country as volunteer Coast Guard Auxiliary members.
The USCG Auxiliary uniforms are the same as the USCG uniforms. However, instead of having gold shoulder stripes and buttons (like on the Coast Guard dress uniform), the Coast Guard Auxiliary uniforms have silver buttons and shoulder stripes. They also wear a special insignia that includes a red A for appointed officers and a blue A for elected officers.
Coast Guard Auxiliary Benefits
While the Coast Guard Auxiliary is a volunteer organization, there are a lot of benefits to serving. The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers countless opportunities for training and eligibility for many awards. USCG Auxiliary members can get a special identification card and have access to both the Pentagon Federal Credit Union and the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Program. The Coast Guard also uses the Auxiliary for new recruits, which offers opportunities for growth and promotion within the Coast Guard.